Mary Poppins at Millbrook Playhouse was such a magical production for me and all involved, I think. I wanted to focus on the upheaval that Mary caused in the Banks Family's lives. We typically think of Mary as practically perfect, but the fact is throughout the script she proves herself to be stubborn, direct, hard-lined, and unyielding. She ruffles everyone's feathers--and it's because she knows this family needs to learn some lessons and knows it's not easily done. We focused on the theme of 'Change' and how change can be painful and uncomfortable but ultimately necessary. The image I used with the team was an orderly office with every paper in place when all of a sudden the windows get thrown open letting in a huge gust of wind. Papers are thrown everywhere--it's chaos for a minute. You are then forced to deal with reassessing how you've put your desk together. You're grumpy because you NEVER would have gone to the trouble to start over with your organization--but the wind forced you to. And at the end, you realize you've put everything together in a way you didn't see before. So that was Mary: she was the wind in our production. She comes in and shakes everyone up. We extended the metaphor into performance and design by detailing a universe where the audience can see how Mary achieves her magic. I used my Ensemble--whom we lovingly referred to as Guardians (taken from Chim Chim Cheree: "Now guardian angels you don't often see...they're covered in soot and they're up on your roof.") to be the embodiment of Mary's magic. So they moved our minimalistic and fragmented set pieces in the midst of the action and created all the "magic" for the characters in full view of the audience. Our production therefore, in contrast to the original Broadway, felt highly theatrical, minimal, and abstract while adding to a different sense of magic, wonder, and playfulness for the audience.